Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre highlighted the importance of Manchester United target Jadon Sancho following the team's 1-0 Bundesliga victory over Hertha Berlin.

After the German Football League (DFL) fined Sancho this week for violating social-distancing protocols following a haircut at home without wearing a face mask, the England star helped Dortmund past Hertha on Saturday.

Emre Can, who urged Dortmund team-mate Sancho to "grow up" and improve his discipline post-game, scored the winning goal at Signal Iduna Park.

Sancho continues to be linked with Premier League giants United and Liverpool, and Dortmund boss Favre praised the 20-year-old attacker.

"It's important that he's here. I know Jadon very well. He was injured for a long time," Favre said of Sancho, who scored a hat-trick against Paderborn last week.

"He couldn't train with the team for three or four weeks. We should be patient with him. He's back now."

Can's 57th-minute goal proved decisive as Dortmund strengthened their grip on second place in the Bundesliga.

Dortmund – who are seven points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich – moved four points clear of third-placed RB Leipzig and seven ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League race with four games remaining.

"It's very good that we won today," Favre said. "We now have a seven-point lead ahead of two teams.

"But it doesn't matter. We want to keep going like this. We've got four games left. We'll go at it game by game. We want to do our best."

Favre added: "We created chances without a real centre-forward. That is the most important thing for us and for me. For example, our goal: it's a good pass from Sancho, [Julian] Brandt plays a fantastic ball on, the ball comes to Emre Can, and he scores the goal.

"We created more chances before and after that and could have won more than 1-0. But Hertha also made it difficult for us – they had a good team on the pitch. But in the end, we won."

Jadon Sancho has been urged by Borussia Dortmund team-mate Emre Can to "grow up" and improve his discipline after a haircut landed him in hot water this week.

Sancho was fined by the German Football League (DFL) for violating social distancing protocols after having a trim at home without wearing a face mask.

The England international called the sanction an "absolute joke" in a tweet before deleting it.

Can, who scored the winner against Hertha Berlin on Saturday, wants to see the 20-year-old show a little more maturity. 

"We know that he just has to be more disciplined in some things, but he knows that himself," Can told Sky.

"He just has to be smarter and grow up with things like that. He can't afford to make such mistakes in the future.

"You have to lead Jadon the right way. He's a great boy, even off the pitch. He doesn't do it on purpose to cause a scandal.

"Maybe he trusts too many other people in some things."

Having scored his first professional hat-trick in last weekend's thrashing of Paderborn, Sancho produced a more low-key display against Hertha as Lucien Favre's side kept their slim Bundesliga title hopes alive.

Borussia Dortmund strengthened their grip on second place in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin that will be best remembered for a show of pre-match unity.

With protests continuing across the United States and the rest of the world following the death of African American George Floyd last week, both sets of players and coaches for Dortmund and Hertha took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to kick-off.

There was little to inspire once the contest got going, with a lacklustre Dortmund guilty of wasting promising opportunities, last week's hat-trick hero Jadon Sancho missing a sitter in the second half before being denied by Rune Jarstein late on.

However, Emre Can spared Sancho's blushes as he struck the decisive goal in the 57th minute to put Dortmund four points clear of third-placed RB Leipzig. They are seven points behind leaders Bayern Munich, whose coronation as champions for the eighth successive season is on the horizon.

Dortmund did the majority of the pressing for most of the first half, but the continued absence of Erling Haaland through injury was keenly felt.

Thorgan Hazard lashed wide of the near post in the 21st minute and Julian Brandt wasted a clear opportunity two minutes later as Dortmund failed to register a shot on target in the first half.

The hosts should have been ahead within six minutes of the restart, but one of their best passages of play went unrewarded as Sancho shot narrowly wide from point-blank range after being teed up by Hazard at the end of a slick attacking move.

Dortmund were almost punished for Sancho's profligacy but Hertha substitute Alexander Esswein flashed wide at the end of a quick counter-attack.

However, the break in the deadlock finally came as Can met Brandt's clever headed lay-off with a first-time finish into the bottom-right corner.

Dortmund had a late penalty appeal rejected by VAR before Sancho jinked in from the left and played a one-two with Raphael Guerreiro, only to somehow be thwarted by the legs of Jarstein.

Lucien Favre's men never saw their lead threatened, though, and easily saw out a win that means they can breathe significantly easier as the battle for Champions League football nears its conclusion.

Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin took a knee in protest at racial injustice and police brutality prior to their Bundesliga clash on Saturday.

The death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week has led to widespread protests across the United States and the rest of the world.

Sports stars have played a prominent role in calling for change and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, with Dortmund's Jadon Sancho last week revealing a 'Justice for George Floyd' t-shirt after scoring against Paderborn.

In warming up for the game with Hertha, Dortmund wore shirts adorned with messages calling for justice and supporting racial equality.

Moments before kick-off at Signal Iduna Park, both sets of players dropped to a knee around the centre circle, with the respective coaching teams doing so in the dugouts.

The actions of Dortmund and Hertha follow Bayern Munich wearing black armbands reading "black lives matter" against Bayer Leverkusen, who also wore black armbands in a 4-2 home defeat.

Robert Lewandowski is out to end his disappointing goals return against Fortuna Dusseldorf as Bayern Munich look to close in on an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

The prolific Poland striker has scored 229 goals in the German top flight over the past decade, but he has never previously netted against Dusseldorf in five attempts.

Bayern head into this weekend's fixture sitting seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who need to quickly respond from their Klassiker defeat when they head to Paderborn.

Elsewhere, third-place RB Leipzig host Cologne on Monday in what will be the first Bundesliga match played in the month of June for 25 years.


FREIBURG V BAYER LEVERKUSEN

- Leverkusen have lost just one of their last nine league encounters with Freiburg and are unbeaten in each of the last five.

- However, Freiburg have not lost any of their last six home Bundesliga meetings with Leverkusen on home soil, with four of the last six finishing goalless.

- Freiburg have won only one of their last seven league games and could go four successive games without a win for the first time this season.


MAINZ V HOFFENHEIM

- Mainz have lost just one of their last seven Bundesliga home games against Hoffenheim, with three of those games ending all square.

- Four or more goals have been scored in eight of the last nine Bundesliga matches between these sides.

- Mainz have conceded a league-high 61 goals this season at a rate of 2.2 per game. They had never previously let in more than 57 across an entire Bundesliga campaign.


SCHALKE V WERDER BREMEN

- Bremen have won more Bundesliga games against Schalke than they have versus any other opponent, claiming victory in 43 of the previous 101 encounters.

- Schalke are winless in 10 Bundesliga games - not since the end of 1996-97, when going 11 games without victory, have they been on a longer-such run.

- Maximilian Eggestein has had a hand in five goals in six league games against Schalke. He has not been directly involved in more than two against any other Bundesliga side.


HERTHA BERLIN V AUGSBURG

- Hertha had gone nine games without defeat against Augsburg prior to their 4-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- However, the capital club are unbeaten in their seven Bundesliga home games with Augsburg - their longest unbeaten run at home in the top flight against one side.

- Hertha's Marvin Plattenhardt has assisted four goals in his last four league outings, which is more than he accumulated in his previous 31 matches combined (three).


WOLFSBURG V EINTRACHT FRANKFURT

- Wolfsburg have won five of their last seven Bundesliga games against Frankfurt, with the only defeat in that run coming in January 2018.

- Frankfurt average 0.83 points-per-game against Wolfsburg in the German top flight - only against Blau-Weiss 90 Berlin (0.5 after two games) do they have a lower return.

- Maximilian Arnold had a hand in three goals for Wolfsburg against Leverkusen in midweek. His 11 goal involvements this term is a personal best for him in a Bundesliga season.

 

A touch of class #Kimmich #BVBFCB #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/Xdgk5CHLSF

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 29, 2020 BAYERN MUNICH V FORTUNA DUSSELDORF

- Dusseldorf are winless in each of their last 11 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern - only against Hamburg (12 matches) have they endured a longer winless run in the division.

- Bayern have scored at least three goals in each of their last six league games against Dusseldorf, netting 24 in total at an average of four per game.

- Lewandowski has scored against 17 of the 18 current Bundesliga sides, the exception being Dusseldorf, having failed to score in his previous 381 minutes against them.


BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH V UNION BERLIN

- Gladbach have yet to beat Union, losing both previous competitive encounters, including a 2-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- Marco Rose's side have tasted defeat in two of their last three league home games - twice as many losses as their previous 11 top-flight matches combined.

- Gladbach have lost only one of their last 19 top-flight home games against promoted sides - 2-1 versus Leipzig in 2016-17 - which is also their only home loss against a Bundesliga debutant this millennium.

 

PADERBORN V BORUSSIA DORTMUND

- Paderborn have failed to win any of their five previous competitive games against Dortmund, a run that includes a 7-1 away loss in the DFB-Pokal four seasons ago.

- However, Dortmund only have a lower win percentage against Bayern (25 per cent) in the entire Bundesliga than they do versus Paderborn (33 per cent).

- Dortmund fired a blank against Bayern are aiming to avoid going back-to-back matches without scoring a Bundesliga goal since March 2015.

 

COLOGNE V RB LEIPZIG

- Out of all the teams Cologne have faced at least twice in the Bundesliga, their loss percentage against Leipzig (60 per cent) is higher than against any other side.

- Cologne are without a win in their last four Bundesliga games - their longest wait for a victory under Markus Gisdol, with all four matches played behind closed doors.

- Leipzig are unbeaten in nine league matches either side of the two-month shutdown, though six of those games have ended in draws.

Julian Nagelsmann blasted RB Leipzig for their early defensive efforts against Hertha Berlin before taking aim at the DFL for their "really s****y" Bundesliga scheduling.

Leipzig missed the chance to climb to second in the table and saw their slim title hopes reduced further in a 2-2 home draw against Hertha.

The Champions League quarter-finalists trailed early to Marko Grujic's close-range volley, and Nagelsmann fumed at the lax marking from a corner.

"I'm not at all satisfied. We have to ascribe this to ourselves," he said. "We simply have to learn so that we are not constantly lagging behind.

"In the beginning, we defended like a student team. The frustration is deep."

Leipzig still had the opportunity to take all three points as they hit back through first Lukas Klostermann and then, after an awful Rune Jarstein error, Patrik Schick.

An earlier red card for Marcel Halstenberg meant the third-placed side had their backs against the wall, though, and they could not cling on.

Krzysztof Piatek netted an 82nd-minute penalty and Hertha threatened a winner, remaining unbeaten under April appointment Bruno Labbadia.

And Nagelsmann suggested it was to be expected Leipzig would struggle, having played Mainz on Sunday, two days after Hertha's Berlin derby win.

"It was difficult to get into the game, which is normal; for us, it was the first 'English week' for months," he said.

"It wasn't an 'English week' for Hertha. They had a four-day break. I don't understand how the game is scheduled. Hertha play on Friday, we on Sunday and have our game on Wednesday.

"It is again the case that we get a really s****y game plan. That was addressed at the DFL meeting, but nobody is interested."

Labbadia was rather happier despite Hertha's failure to beat 10 men.

"The team played a really good game – above all, with the reaction after we went 2-1 down out of nowhere," he said. "Coming back was great.

"Usually that's the blow to the neck. But we showed a great reaction and more than deserved the point."

RB Leipzig missed the chance to move second in the Bundesliga and take a big step towards Champions League qualification as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Hertha Berlin.

Top-four rivals Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen all dropped points on Tuesday, but 10-man Leipzig could not capitalise 24 hours later.

Julian Nagelsmann's side trailed to Marko Grujic's early strike, although goals from Lukas Klostermann and Patrik Schick – the latter aided by an awful Rune Jarstein error – looked to have clinched a hard-fought victory.

However, Leipzig had seen Marcel Halstenberg sent off prior to Schick's strike, and Hertha substitute Krzysztof Piatek converted a late penalty to earn a share of the spoils.

The visitors remain unbeaten under new coach Bruno Labbadia, with their relegation fears behind them, but third-placed Leipzig have work to do to secure a return to the Champions League, where they have reached the quarter-finals this term.

Just four points separate Dortmund in second and Leverkusen in fifth after a tough weekend for the European chasers, with leaders Bayern Munich comfortably seven points clear at the top.

Hertha were good value for their point and a lively start produced the opener after just nine minutes as Grujic met Marvin Plattenhardt's left-wing corner full on the volley eight yards from goal, beating the helpless Peter Gulacsi.

A set-piece at the other end saw Leipzig level 15 minutes later, though, with Klostermann darting towards Christopher Nkunku's near-post delivery and nodding across Jarstein into the bottom-left corner.

Captain Vedad Ibisevic could have restored Hertha's lead but blazed over the crossbar when a move down the right cut Leipzig open late in the first half.

Goalmouth action was scarce following the restart, and Leipzig's hopes of victory looked to have been dealt a sizeable blow as Halstenberg earned a second booking for a foul on former team-mate Matheus Cunha.

But Jarstein failed to gather Schick's powerful drive and the ball squirmed over the line, seemingly taking the match away from Hertha.

Ademola Lookman felled Cunha inside the area, however, and Piatek kept his cool from 12 yards to pick out the bottom-left corner and set up a frantic finish in which Labbadia's side could not force a winner.

After Borussia Dortmund saw their Bundesliga title hopes seemingly end with defeat to Bayern Munich in the Klassiker, Lucien Favre's side could slide to third place on Wednesday.

A victory for RB Leipzig over Hertha Berlin would take Julian Nagelsmann's team up to second spot in the table.

There are some growing winless runs in the German top flight, with worrying times for the likes of Union Berlin and Hoffenheim.

Alarm bells will be ringing at Schalke, however, if their fruitless streak stretches to 10 games. David Wagner's side tackle third-bottom Fortuna Dusseldorf.

RB LEIPZIG V HERTHA BERLIN

- Leipzig usually enjoy this fixture, having won six of their previous seven Bundesliga matches against Hertha – losing the other 3-2 at home in December 2017. They have won more Bundesliga games against Hertha than against any other side, and have scored 26 goals in those seven previous clashes.

- Leipzig have taken 54 points from 27 matches this Bundesliga season, just shy of the 55 they had at this stage of their debut top-flight campaign in 2016-17.

- Striker Timo Werner has had a hand in 31 Bundesliga goals for Leipzig this season, with 24 goals and seven assists, including a hat-trick against Mainz at the weekend. Since detailed data collection began in 2004-05, no other player has been involved in as many goals at this stage of a season.

- Hertha have been rejuvenated under new boss Bruno Labbadia, with a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim followed by a 4-0 victory against city rivals Union Berlin last Friday. Curiously, every goal in those two games came between the 51st and 77th minutes.

UNION BERLIN V MAINZ

- Mainz parted company with head coach Sandro Schwarz after losing 3-2 when these two teams met in November. It was just Union's second win in seven competitive matches against Mainz.

- Union sit 13th in the Bundesliga but have not won in their past four Bundesliga matches, losing their past three, including a 4-0 derby loss to Hertha. It is their longest winless run in the Bundesliga, albeit this is their first season in the league.

- Mainz must set aside their latest Leipzig humiliation. Their 5-0 loss at the weekend followed an 8-0 defeat to the same opposition earlier in the season. The last Bundesliga team to concede 13 goals in a single season against one team were Ulm in 1999-2000 against Bayer Leverkusen.

- Mainz sit 15th and have conceded a league-high 60 goals this season, more than in any previous season in their existence.

AUGSBURG V PADERBORN

- Augsburg have won four of their past six competitive matches against Paderborn (D1 L1), including a 1-0 success earlier this season when Philipp Max's goal made the difference.

- A 3-0 win at Schalke last time out ended Augsburg's run of four Bundesliga defeats in a row and gave them a first clean sheet in 2020.

- Augsburg have a rocky recent record at home against promoted teams, winning five and losing five of their past 10 such fixtures. The last promoted team they beat at home were Paderborn – 3-0 in November 2014.

- Paderborn sit bottom of the Bundesliga with 18 points from 27 matches. No team with 18 points or fewer at this stage of a season have ever avoided relegation from the league.

HOFFENHEIM V COLOGNE

- Rather a favourite fixture for Hoffenheim, they have won each of their past three Bundesliga games against Cologne and are unbeaten in the past seven in their rivalry. They have only managed to string together a longer sequence of Bundesliga wins against one team – winning five in succession against Hannover from 2013 to 2015.

- Hoffenheim will need to buck the trend of their recent 2019-20 season results, however, having not won in their past seven Bundesliga matches (D3 L4), their longest winless run since going eight games without a victory from October to December in 2015.

- Cologne's Jhon Cordoba scored his 11th goal of the season on matchday 27, a late equaliser against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday. He has now netted more goals in his 23 appearances this term than in his previous three Bundesliga campaigns combined (10 goals in 69 games).

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF V SCHALKE

- Schalke have lost only one of their past six competitive matches against Fortuna (W3 D2), but that 4-0 home setback in March 2019 will be fresh in the memory.

- Fortuna sit precariously in 16th place but are unbeaten in their past five games (W1 D4) under Uwe Rosler. They have drawn six of eight games under Rosler – the only other coach in Bundesliga history to draw six of his first eight matches was Thorsten Fink with Hamburg in 2011.

- If Fortuna go ahead, they might not stay ahead, having thrown away a league-high 22 points from winning positions this season. However, they face a slumping Schalke side who have gone nine games without a Bundesliga win, scoring just twice in that dismal run.

RB Leipzig have confirmed captain Yussuf Poulsen has sustained ligament damage in his right ankle that will keep him out of action.

Poulsen sustained the injury in the opening 20 minutes of Sunday's 5-0 rout of Mainz before going on to score one goal and set up two more.

Despite being able to play on against Mainz, the Denmark international underwent a scan on Monday and it has been confirmed he is facing a spell on the sidelines.

"Our forward Yussuf Poulsen sustained a ligament injury in his right ankle during the game against Mainz 05," a statement on the club's official website read.

"He will be sidelined until further notice. That was the result of a scan on Monday."

Coach Julian Nagelsmann is also still without Ibrahima Konate for Wednesday's home clash with Hertha Berlin, though Emil Forsberg has recovered from injury and is back in contention.

Leipzig moved up to third with their win against Mainz, but Nagelsmann is anticipating a tough contest against in-form Hertha, who have won two from two since Bruno Labbadia was appointed in April.

"It's tough to predict anything about Hertha as it's only their third game under Bruno Labbadia," Nagelsmann said at Monday's news conference. 

"They will probably sit back and play on the break. Vedad Ibisevic is the perfect player for that.

"I'm happy to see Bruno and his passion back in the Bundesliga. In just a short period of time, he's helped stabilise the team. But, we want to end Hertha's run tomorrow and build on our performance in Mainz."

Neymar's return to Barcelona could be getting a little closer.

The Paris Saint-Germain star continues to be linked with a return to Camp Nou, where he left in 2017 for a world-record €222million.

While there is uncertainty over whether Barcelona can get a deal done, it seems it may be getting closer.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR CLOSER TO BARCELONA RETURN AS PSG EYE DEMBELE

Paris Saint-Germain remain very interested in signing Ousmane Dembele and it could help Neymar return to Barcelona, according to Sport.

France international Dembele has struggled with injuries since joining Barca from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, but the former Rennes attacker could be set for a return to his homeland.

However, Marca reports Neymar is not a priority for Barcelona with their focus on Inter star Lautaro Martinez and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

Staying at Barcelona and Sport says the club are following Hertha Berlin's 18-year-old midfielder Lazar Samardzic.

 

ROUND-UP

- Timo Werner starred again for RB Leipzig on Sunday with a hat-trick against Mainz in the Bundesliga. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp held a virtual meeting with the forward in recent weeks, according to journalist Raphael Honigstein.

- With Bayern Munich deciding not to buy Philippe Coutinho, the Barcelona attacker's future remains unclear. Le 10 Sport reports Arsenal want to start talks with the playmaker's agent, with head coach Mikel Arteta dreaming of signing the Brazil international.

- Toni Kroos looks set to finish his career at Real Madrid. AS reports the 30-year-old midfielder has no interest in leaving Madrid, where he is contracted until 2023, amid links to MLS and the Chinese Super League.

- Odion Ighalo's Manchester United career may be over already. According to the Daily Mail, Shanghai Shenhua have rejected the Premier League club's requests to keep the forward – who has scored four goals in eight games for United – on loan for another three months.

- Could Raul Jimenez leave Wolves for Juventus? Todofichajes reports Juve offered Adrien Rabiot plus €30m (£26.7m) for the star forward.

- Less than a year after leaving Newcastle United, Rafael Benitez is being linked with a return. Benitez, now coach of Dalian Professional in China, wants to return to the club if their proposed takeover is resolved, and sign Manchester City defender John Stones and Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley.

Quickfire goals from Vedad Ibisevic and Dodi Lukebakio sparked a second-half rout as Hertha Berlin earned the derby bragging rights in a 4-0 win over Union Berlin in Friday's Bundesliga clash.

After a forgettable goalless first half at the Olympiastadion, which was once again without fans in attendance as Germany's top flight began its second weekend back following the enforced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, captain Ibisevic emphatically headed home Marvin Plattenhardt's left-wing cross in the 51st minute.

Hertha came under fire for their close-proximity celebrations in last week's 3-0 win at Hoffenheim and Ibisevic told his team-mates to mark his goal with socially-distant congratulations, though he did plant a playful headbutt on the chest of Dedryck Boyota, who denied he kissed Marko Grujic on the cheek in the Hoffenheim win.

Just 69 seconds after his goal, Ibisevic played in Lukebakio and he coolly rounded the on-rushing Rafal Gikiewicz before sliding into the empty goal.

A fine outing for Ibisevic continued when he teed up Matheus Cunha, scorer for a fourth Bundesliga game in succession, to brilliantly side-foot into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the box.

Union's misery was compounded when Boyata headed home Plattenhard's corner with 13 minutes to go.

The win saw Hertha move up to 10th, while Union were two places and four points back.

Erling Haaland has a chance to create more Bundesliga history when Borussia Dortmund take on Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Cologne's Mark Uth is another striker on a strong run who will be hoping to help his team pick up a victory over relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf, while Kai Havertz will be out to maintain his impressive second half of the season.

Bayern remained four points clear at the summit following a victory over Union Berlin on the league's return from a two-month coronavirus stoppage last weekend and are up against Eintracht Frankfurt.

RB Leipzig fell further off the pace and would no doubt welcome a repeat of their Timo Werner-inspired 8-0 thrashing of Mainz from earlier this season when the pair meet again on Sunday.

Ahead of the next round of Bundesliga fixtures, we bring you the best Opta Facts.

FRIDAY
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin
- Hertha lost 1-0 in the previous meeting in November 2019, which was the first time the two clubs faced each other in the Bundesliga. Hertha have never lost two Berlin derbies in a row in professional football.
- Union have won two of their past three Bundesliga away games (2-0 against Werder Bremen and 2-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt), picking up more wins and points than in their first 10 top-flight away matches this season (one win, five points).

SATURDAY
Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen
- Leverkusen have lost each of their last three Bundesliga games against Gladbach – they only ever lost four in a row against the Foals across 1980 and 1981.
- Havertz has recorded 10 of his 13 Bundesliga goal involvements this season in the Ruckrunde. He has had a hand in at least one goal in each of his last five top-flight games (four goals, three assists).

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund
- Wolfsburg have only taken one point from their past nine Bundesliga games against Dortmund – a goalless draw at Signal Iduna Park in January 2018.
- Haaland needed just nine games for his first 10 Bundesliga goals – only Paco Alcacer and Gert Dorfel required fewer matches (both eight). Haaland will equal the top-flight's record with an 11th goal in his 10th outing.

Freiburg v Werder Bremen
- Bremen have a higher winning percentage (56 per cent) and average more goals per game (2.2) against Freiburg than they do against any other current Bundesliga side.
- Werder's 18 points from 25 games represents their worst Bundesliga season. In league history, all of the 37 teams that have had 18 points or fewer after 25 games have been relegated.

Paderborn v Hoffenheim
- Paderborn have failed to score in all five of their competitive matches against Hoffenheim – they have only ever endured a longer barren streak in professional football against Kaiserslautern (six games between 2006 and 2010).
- Paderborn are six points behind 16th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf. Since the introduction of the three-points-per-win rule in 1995-96, no Bundesliga team has made up such a deficit after 26 games.

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt
- Bayern have won each of their last 10 Bundesliga home games against Frankfurt – their longest winning run at home to any current top-flight side.
- Frankfurt are the weakest team away from home in the Bundesliga this season, picking up just seven points. They have lost nine of their 12 away games this term and have yet to keep a clean sheet on the road.

SUNDAY
Schalke v Augsburg

- Schalke have scored just two goals in their past eight Bundesliga games, fewer than any other side in this time frame. They have equalled a negative club record from 1965-66 with just four goals in nine Ruckrunde games.
- Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner has scored four goals in six Bundesliga games against Schalke – more than he has netted against any other top-flight team.

Mainz v RB Leipzig
- At least three goals have been scored in each of the seven Bundesliga meetings between Mainz and Leipzig.
- Mainz have 27 points and a goal difference of -19, which represents their second-worst Bundesliga campaign at this stage – they were only worse off after 26 games in 2017-18 (25 points).

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf
- It has been nearly 31 years since Dusseldorf's last win away to Cologne in the Bundesliga - they celebrated a 3-1 victory in October 1989.
- Uth has had a hand in a goal in each of his eight Bundesliga games for Cologne (five goals, four assists); his longest such run in the competition.

Dedryck Boyata insists he was "explaining a set-piece" to Marko Grujic after he was accused of flouting social-distancing advice and planting a kiss on his Hertha Berlin team-mate.

Hertha were 3-0 winners against Hoffenheim on Saturday as the Bundesliga became the first major European league to resume since the suspension of the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

Precautions were taken in games, with substitutes wearing masks and sitting significant distances away from each other, but Boyata appeared to kiss Grujic on the cheek.

However, Boyata took to Instagram to offer a different version of events.

"It wasn't a kiss, neither a celebration," he wrote accompanied by a video of the incident.

"I apologise for putting my hands on @grujicmarko face. I was giving him instructions about a set-piece.

"We must definitely be careful now that we play under this situation. We have to adapt our way to play or celebrate."

Borussia Monchengladbach players hugged after scoring twice early in their 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

The German Football League (DFL) said it will not penalise players for celebrating, though it did offer guidance on the matter.

But state minister for Bavaria Markus Soder said stricter rules must be enforced in line with hygiene protocols.

"Football has an extreme function to be a role model, so we should stick to our instructions and pay attention to it next week," he told Sport 1.

"The players must also obey the rules."

On the Hertha incident, he added: "I didn't like it."

Peter Bosz understood why Hertha Berlin's players celebrated in close proximity on Saturday, but the Bayer Leverkusen boss is keen not to see a repeat.

The Bundesliga returned in empty stadiums on Saturday after a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Hertha recording a 3-0 victory at Hoffenheim.

However, while precautions were taken in the games - including mask-wearing substitutes sitting significant distances apart from one another - there was no social distancing being observed when Dedryck Boyata appeared to plant a kiss on the cheek of Marko Grujic after one of the goals.

The German Football League (DFL) has confirmed it will not sanction players for celebrating, though it has offered recommended guidance on the matter, and Bosz wants players to avoid letting emotions get the better of them.

"In the beginning we talked about emotions and they are part of football," he said at his news conference to preview Leverkusen's trip to Werder Bremen on Monday.

"I can imagine that when Hertha scores at Hoffenheim, that they want to celebrate. They must not do it this way. I know that.

"Next time, I don't think they'll do it that way. But goals are emotional moments in which they may have forgotten.

"You're not allowed to do that, but I can imagine that it happens from time to time."

Bruno Labbadia, who was taking charge of his first game at the Hertha helm, had suggested that the frequency of testing meant his players should be allowed to celebrate in such a manner.

"Celebrating goals is part of football. We have been tested so often that I think you can allow it," Labbadia said.

"It would be a shame if you weren't allowed to celebrate any more.

"I hope people out there understand it. It is just a recommendation [from the DFL] to hold back.

"We have tested negative six times, most recently on Friday. Emotions are part of the game, otherwise we don't need to play it."

The German Football League (DFL) has confirmed players will not be sanctioned if they do not socially distance when celebrating goals.

Questions over the issue arose after Dedryck Boyata appeared to plant a kiss on the cheek of Hertha Berlin team-mate Marko Grujic during the 3-0 win at Hoffenheim as the Bundesliga returned to action.

The act seemed incongruous considering mask-wearing substitutes were sitting significant distances apart from one another along the sidelines.

Germany's top tier resumed on Saturday after a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other players kept their distance after scoring during fixtures, while some touched elbows.

However, there will be no repercussions should team-mates decide to celebrate as normal because the DFL only provided recommended guidance on the matter.

A DFL spokesperson said: "The celebration of the players is not part of the medical organisational concept of 'Task Force Sports medicine/Special league operation', which was added to the DFL rulebook on Thursday. 

"Regarding goal celebrations, they only gave advice as orientation in addition to the concept - therefore sanctions are void."

Hertha's win came in Bruno Labbadia's first game at the helm and he defended the actions of his players.

"Celebrating goals is part of football. We have been tested so often that I think you can allow it," Labbadia said. "It would be a shame if you weren't allowed to celebrate any more.

"I hope people out there understand it. It is just a recommendation [from the DFL] to hold back.

"We have tested negative six times, most recently on Friday. Emotions are part of the game, otherwise we don't need to play it."

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